Sociotechnical and Soft Systems Methodology








Computer Science







Sociotechnical and Soft Systems Methodology


Semester 2 201617






Duration: Two Hours

















Q1 – Q4 JC                                                                                                                                                     F29SS



Consider the problematical situation described carefully.

The concept of Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre was developed as a result of findings reported in the McLeish report into Scottish Football. The aim of Oriam is to provide Scotland’s top sportsmen and women with the facilities, access and support services pivotal for successful performance on the international stage.


Oriam is the performance base for the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Rugby

Union, as well as the sportscotland institute of sport (East), Basketball Scotland, Scottish Handball, Scottish Squash & Racketball and Scottish Volleyball. Oriam provides athletes, coaches and officials with the facilities to create an exceptional performance environment that will re-affirm and strengthen Scotland’s sporting credential and put the nation firmly on the world stage.


Oriam is built in the parkland setting of Heriot-Watt University’s extensive campus in the west of the city and includes; an outdoor synthetic pitch; five outdoor natural football and two rugby pitches; twelve court sports hall; a full size indoor 3G pitch; a cafe and a fitness suite, and world class facilities for sports science and medicine including a hydrotherapy facility. The new facilities complement the current facilities based at Heriot-Watt’s campus which will include eight squash courts; two new exercise studios; a four court sports hall; sports performance laboratory and a 60 x 40 indoor 3G synthetic pitch.



  • Draw a rich picture of the situation described considering a full range of stakeholders

that are affected. Please note any assumptions you make.                                                 (10)


  • Perform a CATWOE analysis and generate the root definitions from the world view of

Oriam Sports Centre.               (10)




  • One of the key ideas in Soft Systems Methodologies is the use of Models. An activity

model can be used to look at the action world and compare it to the ideal world. Draw  an activity model of how you would go about writing a 3500 word essay on

Sociotechnical Systems Thinking.                                               (10)


  • ISO 13407 outlines four essential activities in a user-centered design project.

Critically evaluate the rationale for each of these four activities.                                     (10)




Q1 – Q4 JC                                                                                                                                                     F29SS


continued overleaf


Scenarios are one way of using the models in SSM to tell the story of the organisation. They can  aid in creating various Weltanschauungs of the situation and decide on how to take action  moving forward. Critically evaluate how Scenarios can capture the Weltanschauung and how the  organisation can move forward and gain consensus, giving examples and diagrams where  necessary.          (20)



  • A systems approach stresses the fundamental inter-connectedness of the parts, which

can’t be treated in isolation from each other. Senge (1990) states that we tend to focus on  the parts rather than seeing the whole, and to fail to see organization as a dynamic  process. Thus, the argument runs, a better appreciation of systems will lead to more  appropriate action.


Critically evaluate this statement with reference to reflection and learning.                              (10)


  • Sociotechnical systems design focuses on finding the most relevant solution for the

customer. This can be done by effective requirements gathering through user involvement  in the design process. Critically evaluate the reasoning behind involving users in the

design process and thorough requirements gathering.                                              (10)